back in the big time

Chris Walker-Hebborn
Chris Walker-Hebborn
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Bury swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn went a way to putting his Olympic demons behind him by stunning a star-studded field last weekend.

The 22-year-old grabbed wins in the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the British Gas International Meet 2013 in Leeds — beating long-standing rival Liam Tancock.

“It was a tough field and the 100m was especially pleasing,” he told the Free Press.

“I’ve never got one up on Tanny before and to come away with two wins was massive.”

He posted a winning time of 54.80 seconds for the 100m and one minute 59.06secs in the 200m.

The results see a return to form for Walker-Hebborn after the disappointment of last year’s London Olympics, where the Ellesmere College, Shropshire swimmer failed to reach a final of either the 100m or 200m backstroke.

“It was a tough summer for me,” he said.

“It took me a while and I had to take some time out but I’ve picked myself up and feel much better.”

Walker-Hebborn’s performances came just days after returning from a gruelling altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada.

“To come back and perform like that after probably three of the toughest weeks of my life made it worthwhile.

“Going sub two minutes in the 200m showed its value.

“This year is all about qualifying for the World Championships and making finals there so the hard work has to be put in,” he said.

The World Championships are set to take place in Barcelona from July 19.